As a Music student, you’ll flourish in the thriving arts environment of Amsterdam, a city known for its ability to embrace expressions of the human spirit.
Enrolling in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the largest and most diverse music conservatory in the Netherlands, integrates you fully into a specialized institution where you study with other students who are dedicated to the study of music.
The Conservatorium van Amsterdam takes full advantage of Amsterdam’s established reputation in music to offer outstanding instruction in classical and jazz music performance, theory, and composition. The Conservatorium is dedicated to upholding superior standards of teaching, performing, and creating music through a highly-individualized course of study. If you wish to study at the CvA, you should be a strong and independent Performance, Composition, or Theory major with the motivation and intention to become a professional musician, music scholar, or composer.
A member of the Amsterdam School of the Arts, the CvA was originally established as the Amsterdam Conservatorium in 1884. The vast majority of courses at the CvA are taught in English. Finally, we want you to feel at home in Amsterdam, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life abroad. We also take you on field trips to see some of the Netherlands’ great cities, such as Groningen and Maastricht.
- Center: IES Abroad Amsterdam
- City: Amsterdam
- Country: Netherlands
- Program Credits: 15-17 credits
- Language of Instruction: English, Dutch
- Language Prerequisites: None
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
August 27 - December 22
January 7 - May 31
Upcoming Application Deadlines:
Spring 2019 - September 14, 2018
IES Abroad’s mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Conservatorium van Amsterdam
The Conservatorium van Amsterdam takes full advantage of Amsterdam’s established reputation in music to offer outstanding instruction in classical and jazz music performance, theory, and composition. The Conservatorium is dedicated to upholding superior standards of teaching, performing, and creating music through a highly-individualized course of study. It aims to train you to become a versatile musician at the highest level of professional musicianship. If you wish to study at the CvA, you should be a strong Performance, Composition, or Theory major with the motivation and intention to become a professional musician, a music scholar, or a composer. A member of the Amsterdam School of the Arts, the CvA was originally established as the Amsterdam Conservatorium in 1884. The vast majority of courses at the CvA are taught in English.
In close consultation with our staff, you establish a personalized, full-time (15-credit) course of study that includes applied and theoretical aspects of music study with electives and optional courses. The mandatory practical component of the curriculum is a combination of one-on-one and small-group instruction. Study includes highly-individualized lessons with a tutor and participation in an extensive chamber music and ensemble program, and culminates in final performances. Theoretical components aim at developing musical imagination and perception. Core subjects include offerings in ear training (aural skills courses), analysis, harmony, counterpoint, and composition. CvA offers courses within the departments of Classical and Jazz:
- Brass Instruments
- Historical Instruments (Classical only)
- Improvisation (Jazz only)
- Piano and Other Keyboard Instruments
- String Instruments
- Woodwind Instruments
The elective component includes additional performance and theory options. Within both the Classical and Jazz departments, elective courses are available in:
- Chamber Music
- Continuo Playing and Directing Ensembles
- Ear Training
- Harmonic Analysis of the Piano
- Music and Social History (History of Western Music)
- Orchestra or Ensemble Projects (Big Band, Baroque Ensemble, Jazz Formations, Gameland Fusion Groups)
Optional IES Abroad Course
You can choose to enroll in a 2-credit CU 101 Dutch language and culture course at the IES Abroad Center
Designed by Frits van Dongen and opened in 2008, the CvA’s building includes recital halls, classrooms, practice rooms, and offices. The facility is located in the center of Amsterdam, across the street from the Muziekgebouw, the purpose-built home of contemporary music and jazz in Amsterdam.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Amsterdam, it will feel like home. As part of IES Abroad’s direct enrollment services, we arrange well-located, comfortable housing for all students because securing housing independently can be challenging. IES Abroad’s housing options reflect the local student culture and meet our safety and security standards. You can choose from two different apartment options. Both options include an ensuite bathroom with shower.
Shared Studio Apartments
Share a spacious double room in a studio apartment with an IES Abroad student or another international student. Each room is equipped with a kitchenette. A resident assistant lives on-site
You have your own room in an apartment block and will share a kitchen with other students on your floor. This building features a 24-hour reception desk. Single rooms carry an additional fee. Meals are not included in either option, but you can cook your own meals or eat in nearby student canteens (Mensas) and restaurants.
The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Amsterdam staff, your fellow students, and the city of Amsterdam. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during this time. Following IES Abroad orientation, you participate in an orientation led by the CvA to get to know the staff and facilities. Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home. As part of the CORE™ program, you participate in a volunteer activity that creates a sense of community with your fellow students, offers you deeper insight into Dutch life, and gives you a point of contact if you’d like to continue participating in volunteer projects throughout the semester. Field trips are also organized to introduce you to other parts of the Netherlands and to Dutch pastimes. Past trips have included excursions to the Zaanse Schans and Utrecht.
Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events
Redefine the way you live and learn in Amsterdam through cultural events, such as:
- Seeing the windmills in the Zaanse Schans
- Visiting a cheese market in Alkmaar, followed by canoeing on the Alkmaar canals
- Touring the Keukenhof tulip garden (spring only)
- Visiting Hoge Veluwe National Park
- Bicycling to Volendam and Marken
- Exploring the medieval castle Muiderslot and the Isle of Pampus
- 18 years of age
- In good standing at your home school
- 3.0 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale
- Junior or senior standing when program begins
- Final admissions decision rests with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Amsterdam School of Music)
- Applicants whose GPAs are below 3.0 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis (additional application materials below are required).
Passport & Visa Requirements
A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, with at least two blank pages is required. U.S. citizens in possession of a valid passport do not need to obtain a visa predeparture to enter the Netherlands. Upon admission, you will receive more information about obtaining the required residence permit on-site and any related fees. Non-U.S. citizens may be required to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
- Tuition: $15,580
- Housing: $4,475
- Insurance: $230
- Total: $20,285
- Tuition: $28,030
- Housing: $8,950
- Insurance: $455
- Total: $37,435
Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.
Program taught in: